Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
In this article, I reflect on my lived experience as an African American woman teaching in the racialized and gendered context of a predominantly white institution (PWI) in the Deep South. I use the context of a southern campus in the Deep South to provide insight into the ways place, race, and gender continue to shape experiences of people of color and in so doing highlight the fallacy that the United States is a colorblind or post-racial society. To do so, I utilize counter-storytelling—a tool advanced by critical race theory (CRT) scholars; while CRT is useful to understand the conditions that produce the unequal weight borne by faculty of color, it is insufficient to understand the social processes that create and maintain it. I argue that the dynamic nature of racism requires new theoretical approaches to understand it. For this, I advance a new theory—bodies out of place (BOP). I utilize my narrative to provide greater clarity regarding how BOP fills gaps left by CRT and other racial ideologies. My narrative illustrates how the intersections of race, gender, and place can operate to create a disproportionate burden (professionally, personally, physically, and psychologically) on faculty women of color. Ironically, I conclude that this disproportionate burden often falls on a continuum between empowering and encumbering. However, both ends of the spectrum contribute to racial battle fatigue.
Combs, Barbara Harris, "No Rest for the Weary: The Weight of Race, Gender, and Place Inside and Outside a Southern Classroom" (2016). Clark Atlanta University Faculty Publications. 25.
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 1-15.(December 2016)